Peak Oil is You

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Page added on February 27, 2006

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Oil expert: Output downhill from here

Energy – Author Ken Deffeyes thinks the depletion of fossil fuels could lead to a worldwide cataclysm

Few petroleum geologists qualify as celebrities. But Ken Deffeyes, a former Shell Oil geologist who is now a professor emeritus of geosciences at Princeton University, recently sold out Portland’s First Congregational Church, where he came to lecture on his latest book, “Beyond Oil.”

Before Princeton, Deffeyes worked as a researcher in the labs of Shell Oil and taught at the University of Minnesota and Oregon State University. At Shell, he worked with the now-famous petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert. Hubbert coined what is fast becoming a fixture in the modern lexicon — “peak oil” — when he predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s and decline thereafter. Widely criticized at the time, Hubbert has since been vindicated.

Building on Hubbert’s hypotheses, Deffeyes recently theorized that world oil production peaked Dec. 16, 2005, and has begun its permanent decline, with economic disruptions to follow.

Deffeyes sat down with The Oregonian last week to discuss his book and the peak oil phenomenon. His comments have been edited for length and clarity.

The Oregonian

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